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Like Me...Only Better

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Jesse is always, without fail, uncomfortable at parties. His own bar mitzvah party was attended solely by family members and girls -- which should have been a sign, that right there-- and he doesn't like opening nights. Or wrap parties. Or awards parties. And what he loathes, the most of fucking all are after-parties. Or after, after-parties, where people wear sunglasses, inside, and he can smell drugs and there is never any food.

If there is food he stands by that.

The food table is not a weird place to lurk.

This party just has a couple bags of chips -- "crisps, Jess, crisps," Andrew said, when they were at the 24-hour Tesco's, buying the crisps-not-chips for the party-- and then smiling and saying, "Come on, babe, it'll be fun," and Jesse had frowned.

There were promises made to go to the National Maritime Museum and then check out the Meridian International Dateline, in Greenwich. No matter how much Jesse tried to convince him otherwise, with words and kisses both, Andrew insisted that they go to the party.

He has gone to get them more drinks from the kitchen, and Jesse is standing near a bookshelf clutching his empty glass. They are not really into ice in cocktails, here, in England, which is a shame because the ice gives you something else to do with your mouth, because you can chew it, or rattle it in your glass, and plus it provides hydration, which is important when you've been drinking, quite honestly, as well as getting enough calcium--

"JESSE EISENBERG!" he hears someone say, from behind him.

He turns around to see a person that looks eerily familiar, although he does not know why.

Is this someone he is supposed to know?

One of Andrew's friends he's already met?

Is it a relative?

It kind of looks like a picture of his mom's brother Bertie from the seventies.

"Hello," he says, cautiously, trying to place this person.

"This is fun, isn't it? Fun!" the other person says, looking around the room and flinging their arms out.

"I guess?" Jesse answers.

"It's a thing! Just like an adventure. We're being so spontaneous, am I right?"

"Wasn't this party planned?" he asks the flaily person. Where the hell is Andrew? Ah, he's been waylaid by friends of friends. He catches Jesse's eye and mouths sorry.

"Is that Andrew Garfield?" the person says, following the line of his eyes. "Are you here with Andrew Garfield? Andrew Garfield's lovely. He's the new Spiderman, did you know that? No, of course you did, sorry, sorry, that was stupid."

"No, it's fine. It's big news," Jesse says, looking at this other person who is bordering on uncanny.

"It is a big deal! He's going to be famous. You, you're famous. But you still do theater, right? Is that true, that you still act in plays? Because you started out in plays, right, with the acting? I tried to be in plays but I was pretty shit at it."

"Um, he stammers, wanting to ask who are you and why are you talking to me like we know one another?

Andrew extricates himself from the huddle of people and starts heading over in their direction.

"Hey, here you go," he says, handing Jesse another gin and tonic, for which he is immeasurably grateful. Andrew puts his hand on the stranger's shoulder and gives it a shake, "I see you've met Simon, Jesse?" and the other person, this Simon person says, "Yes. I mean, no -- I mean," and here he takes a deep breath, "sorry. Hello. My name is Simon Amstell."

They shake hands and then Andrew sidles over and puts his arm around Jesse. Simon's eyes dart back and forth between their faces, and then he clasps his hands together and says, "Well, this has been splendid. Jesse, nice to meet you. Andrew--"

"See you, Simon," Andrew nods.

Simon walks away, looking back twice.

"Who the hell was that?" Jesse says, "And how much longer do we have to stay here?"

Andrew puts his drink on the bookshelf and then backs Jesse up against it, brushing his hands over his cheeks before leaning in to kiss him. When Andrew pulls away -- which he really, really does not want him to do -- his eyes are very dark and he says, "Finish your drink so we can get the fuck out of here."

He sips as fast as he can, feeling his neck go red as Andrew presses up against him.

They get a taxi back to the flat.